Photograph (c) Reena Walking, available at (click to go to website)

In response to dVerse Poeticsprompt.

I’d nurture those expanses why not?
far across where the horizon smiles, too long
for it to be coincidence. Its cowardly
cold distance, its barrier; laugh at me will you?
Come closer! let’s settle this, man to man,
Craven! I shout, outshout planes overhead
those that feel like pinpricks with their decibels,
like insatiable crows feasting on memories’, desires’ soft tissue.
To scare them away, I need wings. Stop boasting, share, you dumb bird!
Of course you won’t.
I’ll eat more fish, to garner strength.
If I pray to planes, one
will in its pity
enable my ascension. So I’m taught.
Then this meddling ocean
will be no more
than a sweet lake is
to a pelican’s flight on its strong fearless wings.


You – the enclosure of the universe
the crossroads, the forking path, beyond which the clatter
of unknowns, the din of ignorance, the pursuit
of signposts, enveloped in the milks of fog;
one constant; the staff on which my heavy step depends
made of evergreen, undying oak.
eternity, perfection, lightheadedness caused
by unstoppable motion, that always brings
a part of my soul to that sacred place and time
where trembling flesh turned to the word.
the streambed, the smile
the source, illumination of my road
alongside it.
And the bridges emblazoned with
the pearls of your laughter.

Lashes of weather on my cheek, unquestionably!
Ah, the frolicking landscape, indeterminate, unclear, all for me!
I applaud you, Velocity, you give me strength
To own the seconds, each sticking to a different petal,
A different raindrop on my brow, ah, the microcosm!
I shake the winds’ hand, my hand shakes. We form company
Or merely open up old relationships, I ask with every breath
After their long unseen cousins mingling with
The East Coast crowd, adventurous.
Wings aflutter, like sparrows they cut through the sky,
Thoughts unclouded and empty, is this the visceral attraction of freedom?
Is this the empathy of forests in my nostrils; pines, yews?
Will I share wordless stories, will I last so long to catch every murmur?
Oh, how it pulls me!

I close the window
And let the world re-enthrall me
through your smile, when you look up from the book you’re reading.

air torn in half by amber angels
no less real than
a burned finger.

pure as laughter, time’s debtor
the knot of flame
will pass with the very first caress of draft.

A solid tear formed from its exertions
comes to rest not very far from the ground.

Casually swept past the orange flame, father’s call in tow,

Lung, tooth and nail, a swirl of air sweet to the taste.

A god who gave you this smile, the man who gave you this

Scrap of godliness that sent your soul grinning.

In this world, it all ended well. All sweat and exhaustion

Breeding the silent current of survival, disappointment,

Borne patiently by brown earth and water.

Where, only where, the eye can fall,

So the heart does not rend.


This poem has been submitted to this week’s short story slam.

This desert was a drunk a thousand years ago,

a dilatory stormgiver of coughs.

Immortal epitaphs carved out in its dunes

shone through a parchment of complacent necks

bowed in prayer for freedom

for our nostrils, o lord.

A terse aphorism rising as a mist

over the Hebrides, mistaken for thrones

or crosses, or

most likely noughts.

Thus spoke the Fearless Cunctator


and would his volatile calligraphy

perish in abominable waters of oil-rich

perpetual villains?

Oh, how it would.

Water to water a sentry of fish

-eyed marvels have blessed with pontifical foam

ancient communications of waves.

Oh, divine spirit!

Their fins were coarse as their

sparing compliments, their hearts

were beating with marble precision

and the calculated cooing of pariahs

filled their splattered veins.

A mountain presented a different challenge

that no falcon fathomed, and so

no eagle entertained.

And this was their end.

Meanwhile the fish things outlived their eons

in god’s blinking forgetfulness.

Old, old age, you see.

In these woods, my hands were oaks

of wisdom always bound by ink

and you were leaves and stems and butterflies,

as we learned geography by heart

and a map of lonely planets.

“It is important

to stay sweet

and loving.”

Kay Ryan


Do not go.


Your incremental leaving

Is my tradition


Bright land of meadows and swamps

Stockades lunging out to sea; and away


Is a lighted corridor of words.

Arch of comprehension


Walls, immaculate syllogisms

Fleet-footed in rebellious whiskey


Clutching at inevitability

Poetised to luminescence.


Wrinkled voice of spinster mermaids

Mocking from the warm obelisks of waves


A surplus self, in avalanche of mood contagion

And persistent usability of things;


Shaped only if submitted to the tyranny of therefores

Incarnated in imperious implications


Tasked to rewrite regret as a flamed sensing

Of air that should have been you


Of smoked mackerel that no more

Shall be eaten


Of cupfuls of coffee

That now are twice


As many; of disrupted rigour

Of morning’s cyclical riddles


Of otherness that will

Again distance itself

4,000 miles away


I must go

And in my going stay

Sweet and loving

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